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  • #2249124

    What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

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    by tony hopkinson

    What books would you like to see in film that would make the transition sensibly.

    This sort of follows on from the Trivia Geek’s Best SF franchise article.

    I was trying to think of books in the genre that faithfully made it into film and pleased the readers.

    I can think of some good films, but not many where the story line wasn’t jazzed up somewhat or changed to the point where we wouldn’t have recognised it without the title.

    Epic disasters such as Dune for instance. Some of my favourite stories are dated now.
    Eon for instance, background was the cold war…

    Second War Of the Worlds, or maybe 2001 are all I can think of. SF, Fellowship Of the Ring is a stand out, but I liked Tom Bombadil and the following two make me want to punch someone out.

    So a book that could be made successfully into a box office smash, without taking away what made the book great.

    CJ Cherryh’s Hellburner
    Jerry Pournelle’s King David’s Space Ship
    Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon’s Dawn
    Niven and Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye, for a CGI extravaganza.

    Or a potential epic money spinner, for a tall attractive brunette.

    David Weber’s On Basilisk Station.

All Comments

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    • #3225203

      Just thought of another , go retro

      by tony hopkinson

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      AC Clarke’s A fall of Moondust, just think what you could do with casting.

      It would be like the old disaster movies, where you waited for the credits, because that guy’s name was on the tip of your tongue 馃榾

    • #3225181

      If you could see what these eyes have seen

      by drowningnotwaving

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      At the risk of being trite, I always love watching Blade Runner, esp. the director’s cut.

      I’d love to see the Neuromancer trilogy in some way in a book, but I guess now it would look outdated.

      I’d love to see Jasper fForde’s book “The Big Over Easy”. I think it fits the fantasy genre. Or something.

      • #3225110

        A lot of the ideas from Neuromancer have been

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to If you could see what these eyes have seen

        ah borrowed now. It would make a decent film, but the hook as in VR has been seriously done.

        Blade runner, I knew there must be some good crossovers, I just couldn’t think of one.
        Rutger Hauer and the city scape made that film for me.

        • #3225088

          Ah, yes, Blade Runner

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to A lot of the ideas from Neuromancer have been

          And my favorite line from a movie villain, “Wake up! Time to die.”

          I recently watched the EarthSea trilogy and was disappointed; they did it well, but it wasn’t as true to the books as I would have liked. Unfortunately I think that most books have to be seriously abridged unless they are specifically written as screenplays. All that background information takes time to develop and would push most movies from too long to much too much too long.

        • #3225071

          That’s the key. Action type books go over well

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to Ah, yes, Blade Runner

          A lot of internal dialogue though, an you aren’t going to get a decent movie. The ones they do, such as Dune get the Hollywoood treatment.
          Dune the film, visually was brilliant, what they did to the story….
          That’s why I made the choices I did, there’s enough stuff in them for visualisation without corrupting the story.

        • #3224928

          a book series that could work..

          by jaqui

          In reply to A lot of the ideas from Neuromancer have been

          that uses a fair amount of the Neuromancer stuff is the Shadowrun series.
          not only Science fiction, but also Fantasy rolled into it.

          teams of hackers, soldiers, mages fighting the “good fight” against the “Multinational” Corporations running the world, since the governments are dead.

          cyborgs, ogres, dragons, elves, plug into brain internet connections… they have it all.

        • #3273997

          Sean Young……

          by travis hanson

          In reply to A lot of the ideas from Neuromancer have been

          mmmm Sean Young in that retro 50’s hairdo, nice. The cityscape was amazing, remember the Somewhere in Time album cover from Iron Maiden. (definitely dating myself with that one) Anyway, it was an excellent homage to the film.

        • #3273906

          Robert Heinlen

          by galactic dave

          In reply to A lot of the ideas from Neuromancer have been

          Stranger in a strange land ( shame John Houston passed away as he would have made a great Jubal Harshaw ), Time enough for love or I will fear no evil or Arthur C Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama

          D.

        • #3225578

          Rendezvous with rama

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to Robert Heinlen

          would be old hat to hollywood, sequel might be a goer.
          Time enough for love, loo long.
          I will fear no evil, I’d love to see middle america deal with that, they’d burn you at the stake unchanged. As they would for stranger in a strange land, that one you’d have the muslims after you as well.

        • #3289716

          Too right!

          by Anonymous

          In reply to Rendezvous with rama

          Heinlein always was ahead of his times.

    • #3225105

      I’d like to see some Pratchett

      by neilb@uk

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      But done properly with the sort of budget and the quality of stars that has been used for, say, Harry Potter.

      The Hogfather is on Sky later this month. This is a two-parter with Ian Richardson and David Jason as Death and Albert respectively. I’ll be interested to see how well they do…

      Neil 馃榾

      Dragon’s Dawn would be good to do but I’d have a real worry about them getting ‘Mote’ right – or Ringworld!!

    • #3225086

      Maybe some Heinlein

      by nicknielsen

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Rocketship Galileo or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress could probably be easily adapted to film given today’s technology.

      I’ve noticed that action books tend to make the best adaptation and the director can make a difference also. Stanley Kubrick, for examnple, did an outstanding job with “The Shining.”

      Caveat: I saw the movie before I read the book, which may have affected my opinion.

      • #3225067

        How about one of his best books

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Maybe some Heinlein

        Starship Troopers 馃檨

        Communicating the concept of Tanstaafl to a wide audience would be good though wouldn’t it.

        I can think of a lot of books I’d like to see visualised, but which ones would work well enough to be worth the effort.

        • #3225001

          They already did Starship Troopers

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to How about one of his best books

          And mangled it badly. And I can’t speak for your side of the pond, but I know that most people on this side would dismiss Tanstaafl as an unhealthy concept.

        • #3224958

          it was done

          by jaqui

          In reply to How about one of his best books

          it’s wasn’t badly done, but the story was only half there.

          the romance in the story was completely changed in the movie.

          the battle suits were different.
          they never got the really neat suits at all.

        • #3224937

          That was why the sad face

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to How about one of his best books

          They almost completely missed the real bit of SF, that you have to earn your vote with service.

          As for tansaafl, politicians consider it unhealthy

        • #3289714

          Good and bad

          by Anonymous

          In reply to How about one of his best books

          Starship Troopers (the movie) was a good bang-bang-shoot-em-up. It was NOT Starship Troopers (the book), and should have had a different name.

      • #3225039

        Stick one right up the Christian Right

        by drowningnotwaving

        In reply to Maybe some Heinlein

        Job: A Comedy of Justice

        My favorite Heinlen book, and not a rocketship in sight.

        Who would play the protagonist???

        It’s a toss up between Mel Gibson and Tom Cruise.

        • #3224999

          Neither

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to Stick one right up the Christian Right

          This one calls for the guy next door. Bill Pullman maybe, or Kevin Costner. Brigitte Nielsen for the female lead.

          Unfortunately, I don’t think this one will ever see the silver screen. The content is just too radical, even for Hollywood. Stranger in a Strange Land has a better chance.

        • #3224992

          [i]Stranger in a Strange Land[/i] would be an excellent choice.

          by deepsand

          In reply to Neither

          One has to wonder why it’s not already been done. Perhaps it’s that the demographics are not viewed as being sufficiently favorable for it becoming a “blockbuster” as they once might have been, given the long running obsession with “action” films.

          On the other hand, considering that it was a cult classic of the ’60s, and given the present purchasing power of the generation that would be most inclined to view it, now might in fact be it’s time.

        • #3274165

          Stanger would be good – if done right

          by dlogan

          In reply to [i]Stranger in a Strange Land[/i] would be an excellent choice.

          I agree… that is a true classic that seems to have been overlooked. However if they mangled it like Starship Troopers,. I would rather not seem the do it at all.

        • #3273996

          The urge to introduce more “action” would probably hold great sway.

          by deepsand

          In reply to Stanger would be good – if done right

          What ever happened to the thinking man’s movie?

          Why are the producers so convinced that the path to success requires an appeal to [i]their perceived[/i] needs of men for “action,” or to that of women for “empathy?”

          I shudder at the thought of what a Hollywood version of Herman Hesse’s [i]Das Glasperlenspiel[/i], aka [i]The Glass Bead Game[/i] or [i]Magister Ludi[/i] would look like.

        • #3274193

          On the subject of Heinlein

          by rcollins5

          In reply to Neither

          Why not Methusela’s Children? Woodrow Wilson Smith – aka Lazaras Long would be a great character and the show could lead to lots of follow-ups. These days, you could do up one of his famous short stories and develope a great screenplay. Something like Misfits or Lifeline for instance?

        • #3274061

          Heinlein’s Other Masterpieces

          by bobinatlanta

          In reply to On the subject of Heinlein

          Have Space Suit, Will Travel or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

        • #3273994

          Ignore; mis-placed in thread.

          by deepsand

          In reply to Heinlein’s Other Masterpieces

        • #3224974

          So – alternate view of bible = bad; cannibilism = good

          by drowningnotwaving

          In reply to Stick one right up the Christian Right

          I have GOT to get me to one of your parties, Deepsand.

        • #3224936

          Stranger in a strange land

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to Stick one right up the Christian Right

          Religious Fundamentalists of all types would be burning cinemas 馃榾

          As for a comedy of justsice, the devil is nice guy with bad PR people, that will go down well.
          I recommend Max Clifford for the part of Lucifer.
          馃榾

        • #3288185

          Lucifer

          by nnielsen

          In reply to Stranger in a strange land

          I’m not familiar with Max Clifford, but I hope you’re thinking that the role of Lucifer would call for a “Hail fellow, well met” type of performance.

        • #3288122

          He’s a PR guru

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to Lucifer

          you go to him when you have a problem in that regard and your story is worth money to him.

      • #3274221

        Citizen of the Galaxy

        by jeff

        In reply to Maybe some Heinlein

        One of the best of Heinlein’s short novels, Citizen of the Galaxy is the one I would most like to see come to the silver screen.

        Other Nominations:
        If This Goes On– (later retitled Revolt in 2100)
        Farnham’s Freehold
        Methuselah’s Children
        The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
        Tunnel in the Sky
        Waldo
        Magic, Inc.

        – Jeff

      • #3225552

        Actually there’s one close to Rocketship Galileo

        by dr_zinj

        In reply to Maybe some Heinlein

        due out soon. Called The Astronaut Farmer. Not an Earth to Moon voyage, just some farmer with a dream of going into space putting together a rocket out of spare NASA & defense industry surplus and fighting the government suits who don’t want him to try (or succeed).

        Rocketship Galileo is a possibility with today’s technology. Unfortunately, in today’s anti-terrorist climate, the possibility of a private citizen getting that much material for propulsion is, well, farther than 4.3 light years. And I’m not sure if they ever solved nozzle erosion or the fuel fracturing problems before they killed the nuclear rocket program.

        • #2502385

          You think its fiction?

          by drace

          In reply to Actually there’s one close to Rocketship Galileo

          There is a guy in New Zealand who built a cruise missile out of over the counter bits and scrap metal. It uses a pulse jet engine so it isnt too stealthy but with the GPS kit and servos from industrial robots it is accurate (he tried it) the gov tried to shut his website down. Now thats what I call a story. ANyway noone has mentioned E.E.Doc Smith. Triplanetary . The Lensman. Lots of good space opera there..

        • #2502098

          Lensman.. has been mentioned

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to You think its fiction?

          too dated in my opinion. There are far better space operas anyway.
          Stephen Donaldson’s gap series springs to mind.

          Do you think a the heroic couple would make it to the big screen unamended?

      • #3289664

        Doorway into Summer

        by burgmann.tom

        In reply to Maybe some Heinlein

        If any of you are electronic engineers then this has to be one of the all time notables. It has robotics engineering, conflict and romance rolled into a memorable time travel story. Heinlein was my intro to sci-fi in the sixties. Whenever I need a lift this is the quick picker-upper.

    • #3224993

      The only sci-fi story to yield an Oscar for Best Actor, …

      by deepsand

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      [i]Flowers for Algernon,[/i] made the trnasition from short story to the big screen, as [i]Charlie[/i], exceedingly well, succeeding in raising the same emotional response in both.

      However, the novel [i]Charlie[/i], that resulted from the movie, was an unmitigated disaster.

    • #3224990

      I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

      by jmgarvin

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Also you can’t beat Good Omens, but I’m pretty sure the religious right in the US would freak out and start burning down theaters.

      • #3224973

        Yes, plus …

        by drowningnotwaving

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        … encouraging nerdy mathematicians to think that they one day may rule the known universe …

        Is this truly a worthwhile outcome?

        But of course a proper nerdy mathematician would point out the impossibility of ever actually knowing the universe, and do themselves out of a pretty comfy pension scheme at the same time.

        We have nothing to fear.

        Except I thought Asimov raved on a bit. The first few Foundation novels were brilliant but after a while, I think he rode that pony just a few miles too far – I truly expected “Foundation and the Local Off-License” (which come to think of it is not necessarily a bad idea).

        • #3274191

          More from Asimov

          by rcollins5

          In reply to Yes, plus …

          I’ve always been partial to the robot novels and would love to see them on the big screen. A start with The Caves of Steel – but my all-time favorite would be Robots of Dawn.
          On the subject of the Foundation series, wouldn’t the final book Forward the Foundation be a great movie?

      • #3288355

        Asamov, yes

        by jdmercha

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        Although I’d like to see The Foundation, I think it might not translate to the screen as well as some of the pre-foundation books, such a Caves of Steel.

        Unless of course they stretched it out over about 12 movies.

      • #3223840

        Well, yes; but, …

        by deepsand

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        How to end it? Where to end it?

        If you are faithful to the books, you’ll get a long, bloated pic with an ending that offers neither resolution nor even a clear choice of such.

      • #3225456

        Foundation COULD be great

        by dons_ca

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        I would love to see this as well. They could do it great, or it could suck hugely.

        • #2501310

          But, as I’ve mentioned above, …

          by deepsand

          In reply to Foundation COULD be great

          how to end it?

          The books dragged on and on, with no closure.

        • #2501228

          No closure

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to But, as I’ve mentioned above, …

          That reminded me of my favourite quote in a BBC review of the film Fellowship of the Ring.

          Disappointing lack of closure oh and the female characters were insipid.

          Pity he didn’t read the book, and I can’t imagine what this pratt would have done to LOTR to fix these problems.

      • #2502699

        Better as a mini-series!

        by ralford100

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        HUGE depth here.. gotta take time to present it right.

        • #2501309

          And, only if you don’t try to cover all the books.

          by deepsand

          In reply to Better as a mini-series!

          If you do that, you’ll be bogged down in contrived endings to complete the many unfinished plot lines that the books left hanging.

          Better, perhaps, to restrict such series to the 1st book alone.

      • #2502678

        Foundation Rumor

        by ed woychowsky

        In reply to I’d love to see Asimov’s Foundation series

        There is a rumor floating around about the Foundation movie in 2008. I can say that it’s true because I still have a cutout from the New York Daily News about the summer of 1984.

        The summer of 1984 was to be the Foundation Trilogy Summer with one movie in June, the second in July and the third in August. Alas, the summer that never was.

    • #3224959

      The best that has been done

      by jaqui

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      has to be Episode IV
      STAR WARS

      I read the book before the movie was made, and the movie was not a disappointment at all.

      well done George Lucas, book author, producer and screenwriter, no wonder it worked well.

      • #3224935

        Not a Star Wars fan, myself

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to The best that has been done

        Lucas’s best film THX1138.

        Besides writing the book with the film in mind is cheating. 馃榾

    • #3288348

      Dune….

      by jamesrl

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Not sure if you have seen the more recent miniseries, but it makes you never want to watch the movie again. I’ve watched it end to end twice and there was a follow on with the same cast of the Children of Dune.

      You may scoff at Harry Potter, but I find the books entertaining and the films have been very faithful.

      I’d like to see a war of the worlds based on the HG Wells book – set in that time period. I want to see the battle between the royal navy and the martians done well.

      I watched a trailer the other day and thought I was going to see an Ann McCaffrey title, but alas, it only looked like a Dragonrider movie. Its called Aragon.

      James

      • #3288268

        Wouldn’t say I scoff at Harry Potter

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Dune….

        just doesn’t do anything for me.

        I’ve seen a couple of the dune mini-series and they were much better than the film, it would be hard not to be though.

        Battles though, How about Steven Erikson’s Chain of Dogs from Deadhouse Gates ?

        Druss the Legend and the Earl Of Bronze at Dros Delnoch.

        Or Michael vs Thuktun Flishithy 馃榾 to get back to Sci-Fi.

      • #3288255

        adventures on pern

        by jdclyde

        In reply to Dune….

        tell me you didn’t cry when Masterharper Robinton died? :_|

        • #3288237

          Nah.

          by neilb@uk

          In reply to adventures on pern

          Only when he [b]nearly[/b] died and the dragons brought him back.

        • #3288183

          Pern just isn’t the same

          by nnielsen

          In reply to adventures on pern

          without Robinton. And I teared up many times while reading the Pern books. For whatever reason, Anne McCaffrey’s work is able to reach out and grab me.

          BTW, have you read any of the newer books written by Todd McCaffrey? I was greatly impressed with “Dragon’s Blood.”

        • #3288160

          nothing newer

          by jdclyde

          In reply to Pern just isn’t the same

          I used to read to my boys every night, and that ended at the end of school last year.

          The Harry Potter and Diablo books kind of took the place of the dragonrider series.

          They used to also get a kick out of the animorph series, but I think they outgrew that too.

      • #3274100

        I scoff at Harry Potter

        by david.tygel

        In reply to Dune….

        The first 2 movies were true to the books. Since then pure trash Hollywood rewites the story to it’s onw needs totally screwing the story line

    • #3289101

      Tsk Tsk Tsk

      by bfilmfan

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I just wanted you to know that I was going to get around to this on my blog…

      Now you are gonna make me have to think of a whole new one to write! 馃檪

      • #3274245

        Well it was reading your blog that made me think of it

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Tsk Tsk Tsk

        so you can have some of the credit.
        馃榾

    • #3287724

      Any Brin, anyone?

      by daboochmeister

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I think Startide Rising etc. would convert well … David and Goliath theme, plenty of action, plenty of thoughtful implications of science …

      • #3225343

        Uplift

        by ed woychowsky

        In reply to Any Brin, anyone?

        Why not the entire trilogy: Sundiver, Startide Rising and The Uplift War? Anyone have Peter Jackson’s e-mail address?

    • #3287705

      Robert Heinlein

      by eric.reinholt

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I submit that “The Number of the Beast” could translate VERY well to film!

      Go Zeb and Deety!

      • #3287701

        No “Number”

        by chris.overstreet

        In reply to Robert Heinlein

        It would never work. Besides seriously dumbing down the dialogue, you would have to find an actress (for Deety) who is, converting from the metric, 5’7″ tall, 130 pounds, with a 37″ bust and a 19″ waist. In short, you need Pamela Anderson in a girdle, and she’d never be able to pull off playing a software engineer.

        • #3274113

          Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter Miller

          by beowulf_cam

          In reply to No “Number”

          As post-apocalyptic visions go, fairly interesting. The world recovers and then does it all over again!

      • #3274246

        May be, but I didn’t think much of the book

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Robert Heinlein

        when an author starts dragging characters out of his other books, they have officially lost it.

        Friday would be better.

    • #3287697

      Fiasco by Stanislaw Lem

      by alxnsc9

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      “Fiasco” by Stanislaw Lem is an amazing treasury of ideas and predictions on science and humanity. Most of his predictions came true and, no one liked them – even the author (it would be right to say that he wrote some of them with disgust). I have never met another example of a timid hope and love to human beings before. May be, Mel Gibson is the best actor to play the part of Lem’s Pilot Pirks. Tell him, please… And remind him – the author is a Polish Jew.

    • #3274248

      Possibly extending the idea (logically)… [long]

      by overmod

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Some very good ideas, and choices, imvho.

      Important to recognize what ‘makes’ for a good (and, also important, profitable) film, just as what makes for an effective SF franchise. I’m surprised no one’s commented on WHY Hellburner, rather than something like, say, Downbelow Station, or Rimrunners, or Heavy Time, was the choice for Cherryh.

      I would sweat a great deal, and probably never stop sweating, at what might happen to Honor in the hands of filmmakers (no pun intended…) — even though if you want a long-term, progressive SF franchise with a strong and complex female lead, that would be on the short list. Not least because being ‘attractive’ is a point Weber himself is at some pains to deprecate… ;-}

      But much of the choosing leads into another point, which I think is critical to the success or failure of many of these projects: length and market.

      deepsand noted (with respect to Foundation, I believe):

      > How to end it? Where to end it?

      > If you are faithful to the books, you’ll >get a long, bloated pic with an ending that >offers neither resolution nor even a clear >choice of such.

      Assuming you tried to make a typical feature movie out of the whole ‘extended trilogy’, which imho is what doomed DeLaurentiis’ version of Dune before it started. By the time you establish the rules of engagement for verisimilitude in future history, how many minutes have gone down the pipe? And doing it right clearly requires more than a few mattes and a pretentious voiceover

      Seems to me we have at least four basic formats, and at least two ‘extended models’, for ‘video’ SF formats:

      1) Feature film: 140min. practical length, can be extended to about 240min for VERY profitable niches…

      2) Feature film with sequels/prequels a la Star Wars… but remember the harsh lesson of Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings, and that the ‘typical’ ways that sequels can suck will have to be carefully, carefully avoided (I am NOT intending something like “Hard Landings Will Not Hereafter Be Permitted” here, either…

      3) Miniseries (usually up to three nights, somewhere in 2-hr running time with or without inline commercials depending on media, but can be a BIT longer). Point is that it’s a longer format BUT fixed duration;

      4) Full series – probably 1hr for adaptations, although I have done extensive treatments for half-hour short-story adaptations (Galouye and Niven being sample authors, and the pieces chosen so that the film can carefully reflect the authors’ points and intent, which I think is important). You have a choice between making the episodes separate (a la Outer Limits), separate with a general common theme (Twilight Zone or, a bit stronger, something like the Friday the 13th Series, which had about as much to do with Jason as Halloween III had to do with Michael), a common theme with different ‘adventures’ each week (Star Trek, of course, or with a different emphasis Time Tunnel/Quantum Leap), or in typical series form containing ongoing and evolving plots, themes, character development, etc. (the ‘new’ Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly, being two examples)

      Note that there are internal timing and dynamics issues for film, particularly television film, that are more akin to Stratemeyer-Syndicate literature (and I’m NOT knockin’ it!!!) than typical SF — some of which, like the need to impress ‘readers’ when pitching a project, or enticing the audience across commercial or time breaks, can be easily gained from texts on film composition. More importantly, a ‘good’ film will appeal to multiple quadrants, while still satisfying enough ‘core’ to guarantee repeat attendance and establishment of the ‘franchise’.

      I mention this because it might enhance the discussion to have some explicit taxonomy of KINDS of SF adaptation, and the titles and authors best suited to each. To prime the pump, as it were:

      Hellburner is an excellent candidate for a movie — but with a full set of hooks and references to the extended and very rich future history that can be used for the ‘franchise’… if made alone, especially by ‘typical’ Hollywood types out to play up the “military-industrial-conspiracy” aspects of the story, I worry that it might suffer the fate of the script that became “Spacehunter” (1983) — if you know where to look in the movie you find some extremely good tech details, like the orbital-insertion graphics, or what Chalmers’ first name is, but by and large, Who Cared…

      MULTIPLE FILM or MINISERIES: The Mote in God’s Eye, or any single part of the Ringworld (instructive why it, and not the Smoke Ring, is a better ‘vehicle’ for film…) You can’t do justice to it in one sitting, BUT a book treatment would have a very fixed duration and a reasonably firm conclusion… the ‘extension’ of the story having all sorts of reasonable format possibilities, including not coincidentally King David’s Spaceship…

      Honor, I think, would be a movie AND a roughly concomitant follow-on series; you might do ‘later’ stories as miniseries (or as ‘extended episodes’) and use the extra time to explore the contrasting elements and contradictions in more depth or detail, but doing that for ESTABLISHMENT of the franchise would I think be too much like Russian roulette… ;-}

      • #3274240

        I picked Hellburner

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Possibly extending the idea (logically)… [long]

        It’s self contained, strong but fairly simply characters, a good finale. Hollywooding by making that final attack go through on a union ship, wouldn’t damage the story too much. Visually it offers a lot of material, and as you say, you’ve chance at some real background.

        Heavy Time, which in my opinion is a much better book, becomes a possibility, giving us the chance to stick it to Mam-Bitch. 馃榾

        Downbelow station with the Lucas Treatment, dunno.
        40,000 in Gehenna, forget it, Cyteen forget it. Fade Sun Trilogy, no chance whatsoever.

        The kiddie books Finity’s End, Tripoint etc have possibilities.

        Foreigner Sequence, in my dreams.

        Any one who get the impression I like CJ Cherry’s material, is on the ball 馃榾

        Honorverse, they could have a field day with, I’d love to see various members appreciation of a logical end point for the welfare state in the Republic Of Haven as well.

        A couple of one offs that would make good films.

        Mary Gentle’s Golden Witchbreed and Walter Jon Williams’ Ambassador’s Progress.

        If you want all the good points of a hollywood blockbuster, and a chance at sequels how about John Ringo’s A Hymn before Battle?

    • #3274234

      What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      by akash.singh

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I think Jurassic Park should be amonst the list

      • #3274200

        Sci-fi book I want to see as a movie

        by paul.james

        In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

        * The Cross-Time Engineer series (Frankowski)
        * Time Wars series (Hawke)
        * Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon series (Robinson)
        * The Forever War (Haldeman)
        * All My Sins Remembered (Haldeman) aka “The Pretender” TV show
        * Alas Babylon
        * Thrice Upon a Time
        * When Harlie Was One
        *

        • #3274197

          Book vs. Movie

          by paul.james

          In reply to Sci-fi book I want to see as a movie

          Good books, bad movie
          Starship Trooper
          The Postman (Costner)

          Good book, better movie
          Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? aka Blade Runner.
          Robocop

          Split decision
          The Abyss – 5* except for final 10 mins
          Logan’s Run- OK for it’s time

          Sci-fi TV series
          Lexx
          Farscape

        • #3274162

          Callahan’s Cross-Time Saloon

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to Sci-fi book I want to see as a movie

          Almost anything from Spider Robinson would probably make a great movie. But Hollywood would see a need to “dumb it down” before it could achieve commercial success.

      • #3274056

        I must confess I don’t really think of that as sci-fi

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

        It was damn good film though, the first time I saw the herd of cgi dinosaurs a shiver went down my spine.

        Good spot

    • #3274190

      What about something from EE Doc Smith?

      by rcollins5

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      The Lensman series has a lot of the elements needed to make a successful translation into film, but I had more real fun reading the Skylark series.

    • #3274136

      Dan Simmons

      by htohel

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      The first two books of the Hyperion tetralogy would make a stunning long, long movie – if financed generously.
      Will never happen, unfortunately.

    • #3274132

      Sci-fi Book/movie cross-over. . .

      by warinpiece

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      “The Stainless Steel Rat” comes to mind. This series of books, were successfully transferred to comic print in earlier series of the British comic 2000A.D. I enjoyed the novel versions, which in my minds imagination, really made it come to life.

      • #3274115

        Slippery Jim DiGreez (sp?) was the best!

        by dokai

        In reply to Sci-fi Book/movie cross-over. . .

        I haven’t thought of that series in ages, but you’re right: it’d make a great movie!

        Another series of books that I think would make a great series of movies is the “Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter” novels. Don’t know if we’d all agree on calling them SF, though.

    • #3274076

      The Stars My Destination would make a great SF movie.

      by larryduncan

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      “The Stars My Destination” (British title was “Tiger, Tiger”) by Alfred Bester, published in the mid ’50s, would be my choice for best book to film transfer. This novel has everything–a hero who goes from ignorant brute to a savior who brings us to the brink of the next step in human evolution, fantastic action in exotic settings from “The Spanish Steps” to interstellar locations, and some really strange characters that could make the hippest or the most decadent of today seem hum-drum by comparison.
      Gully Foyle, lowly and ignorant deck hand on a space freighter and only survivor of ship wreck, signals for help to a passing ship but is left to perish. He vows revenge on those who abandoned him (“Kill you filthy Vorga”). Without understanding how, he finally teleports himself to a colony of neo-primitives living among the asteroids where he is tatooed with a tiger’s face and the name Nomad on his forehead. Eventually, after desperate struggles, he educates himself, discovers why he was left to die in space, overcomes the richest man in the solar system,learns how to control his power to teleport(called “jaunting” in the novel), and too much else to summarize.
      The novel is essentially hung on the Count of Monte Cristo revenge type of story but transcends its model. The action is conceived in a truly cinematic fashion, and the dialogue is colorful and varied.
      Why no one has made it into a block buster movie is a mystery to me. Maybe someone the right connections could pitch it to the attention of the right director … Peter Jackson or James Cameron maybe.

    • #3274037

      Harry Harrison’s

      by jaqui

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      “Hellworld” Trilogy
      it would convert nicely to movie format.
      Not a major FX vehicle, since they are more character development based.
      but creature FX would be big.

      Then again, David Drake’s Hammer Slammers could work, but would most likely be butchered by hollywood.

      • #2488349

        Hellworld?

        by ed woychowsky

        In reply to Harry Harrison’s

        I thought it was Deathworld, a trilogy and a short story all revolving around a character named Jason.

    • #3273949

      Yeah!

      by portable123

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Any or all of the Honor novels. I have them all, and am about to get my daughter started in them. I love the ‘cats.

      • #3273936

        Orson-Scott Card

        by tim

        In reply to Yeah!

        Ender’s Game, anyone?
        Bit of a psychological thriller with some excellent special effects opportunities

        Plenty of opportunities for sequels / prequels / spin offs, which could then be happily mangled….

    • #3273903

      How about Frederik Pohl’s …

      by deepsand

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      [i]The Coming of the Quantum Cats[/i]?

      In today’s geo-political climate, it would lend itself exceedingly well to timely adaptation, with no need to alter the plot line.

    • #3225609

      I wander, isn’t “Cities in Flight” by James Blish great?

      by mostogradnja.rs

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I agree with most of you but must say that my favourite SF classic series is James Blishes “Cities in Flight”. Some of its ideas I’ve seen used in the Star Wars series (rogue planets etc.). As for Heinlein, I think he is fantastic and I can not understand how come Hollywood guys had not used his books already. Hollywood version of “Starship Troopers” has not any connection with Heinlein but the title. It is, in my opinion, a mixture of Harry Harryson’s “Bill, the Galactic Hero” and some excerpts from a few Clifford Simak’s novels.
      Asimov should have been on the screen long before and instead of the Star Wars.
      Artur Clarke’s “Space Odissey” still has to be upgraded by two more sequels.
      Stanislaw Lem is great for reading but I wander how it can be filmed and understood? I did not like any filmed version of his “Solaris”.

      • #3225600

        Here’s a Few

        by rocket ride

        In reply to I wander, isn’t “Cities in Flight” by James Blish great?

        “A Deepness in the Sky” and/or “A Fire Upon the Deep”– Vernor Vinge The former is, IMHO, the single best SF novel written in the past decade.

        Anything by Charles Stross, but especially the
        “Bob Howard” stories.

        The “Fall Revolution” Quartet– Ken MacLeod

        “Footfall”– Niven & Pournelle (But they have to use the cadenza and final movement of the Shostakovich first violin concerto for the flight of “Michael”. Listen to the piece and you’ll know why. )

        “Inherit the Stars”– James Hogan Yeah, I know the science is dodgy and even so, they’d have to dumb it way down. (Use Berlioz’s “Rakoczy March” for Vic Hunt’s reverie.)

        “Midnight at the Well of Souls”– Jack Chalker (Use “Night on Bald Mountain” for the flight across Murithel.)

        “The Probability Broach”– L. Neil Smith

        “The Invincible”– Stanislaw Lem

        “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” is the Heinlein story I’d most like to see adapted.

        “Old Man’s War” John Scalzi

        “Startide Rising”– David Brin (yes I know it’s already been mentioned.) There was supposedly an anime feature in production a few years back.

        “Rendezvous with Rama” there are persistent rumors of a production with Morgan Freeman involved (producing and playing Cdr. Norton)

    • #3225555

      Standing on Zanzibar – the best

      by marlyse.piccand

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      How about John Brunner’s books ? He was a visionary and wrote about our present time way back in the 60’s and 70’s!
      Stand on Zanzibar (about over-population)
      The Sheep Look Up (about pollution)
      Shockwave Rider (about an IT revolutionary)

      I would LOVE to see his books in movies!

    • #3225406

      Hopefully Eragon

      by gsg

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I’m seeing Eragon Friday afternoon, and since I loved the book so much, I hope that they were able to do a good rendition. On the one hand, they can’t be too faithful, or you get a situation like the first Harry Potter movie. However, I want them to follow the story. I do know that they had to change Saphira’s color from Sapphire blue to a more dull blue. I was disappointed when I saw this in the trailer until I read a post that explained that she looked like a cartoon character until they dulled the color. Stuff like that would be quite acceptable. I’m crossing my fingers.

      • #2501313

        But, you don’t really consider that [i]SF[/i] do you?

        by deepsand

        In reply to Hopefully Eragon

        While it may be good [i]Fantasy[/i], it’s certainly not [i]Science Fiction.[/i]

    • #3225350

      Colossus and anyhting Niven-ish

      by trilkin

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      The film adaptation of Colossus (named Colossus: The Forbin Project) was a decent adaptation, in a corny seventies sort of way.

      Almost anything by Niven SHOULD make a great film. Ringworld (the rishathra would be interesting) or any Man-Kzin war related material.

      Also, Startide by David Brinn would be terrific if done right.

    • #3289706

      Mutineers’ Moon

      by spreston

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      It’s by David Weber. It has got a little bit of everything in it. But then again we do find out that the moon is really a battleship. But then Hollywood would ruin it also, like they have so many great books in the past.

    • #3289670

      Brian Lumly

      by rschmid1

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      He has a series called Psychomech, Psychomock, Psychosphere. Deal with Industrialists who are /were Natzi scientists. Great story lines genuine hero. Blinded by explosion helped by the industrialist he was protecting. Machine enhanced esp by conquring fears in dreams one becomes superhuman (read SS) interesting reading TDR Fantasy. Or his take on vampires is different as well with the Wamphirii series.

    • #3289613

      Way Station

      by ed woychowsky

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Clifford Simak’s “The Way Station” which won the Hugo in 1963 for best novel would make a really good movie. The story revolves around a human, Enoch Wallace, who is the secret local stationmaster for an intergalactic transportation system. Unfortunately Wallace come under scrutiny of the government when they realize that he is a civil war veteran and that one of the graves in his family cemetery contains the remains of something not of this Earth.

    • #2502378

      I Know What I Wish Never Came Out

      by steffi28

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      ….Hitchhikers.

      The movie just didnt do it any justice whatsoever!

      The old TV series was so much better and the only actor they got right in the movie was the voice of Marvin.
      This time 2 or 3 years ago my answer would of been the whole hitchhikers series. But now… well I dont want them to be ruined by being released as movies.

      • #2501314

        Somewhere, in a galaxy, whoops, in a TR discussion far, far away, …

        by deepsand

        In reply to I Know What I Wish Never Came Out

        the whole [i]Hitchhikers …[/i], the movie, was given its just desserts in spades. I’d point you to it, if I could, but the TR Searcg function is wholly inadequate for locating such; and, even if it could be found, there’s no garuantee that the links to it are still active.

        Now, old TR Discussions just fade away, never to be seen again.

    • #2502533

      Raymond E Feist

      by mr

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      The riftwar saga would do well, especially if Peter Jackson got hold of it.

      • #2501373

        Well Magician would be excellent

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Raymond E Feist

        Silverthorn would be disappointing and Darkness at Sethanon utter crap, based on past performance.

      • #2501356

        David Eddings

        by nicknielsen

        In reply to Raymond E Feist

        His Elenium series might transfer well to the big screen. Simplistic or formulaic as it may be, that often seems to make good cinema.

        • #2501232

          Practically designed for it

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to David Eddings

          Vastly overrated though, I wouldn’t watch it if you paid me.

          Now Donaldson’s chronicles of Thomas Covenant, or Mordant’s need, or for a total CGI extravaganza, Erikson’s Malazan Tales of the Fallen, then you’d be talking something worth the effort.

          Eddings stuff makes Rowling look adult. Good always triumphs, innocence is power and all ‘bad’ guys are stupid.
          Bleh !

        • #2501186

          It’s a great world view

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to Practically designed for it

          if those around you can stand it.

          Thomas Covenant. Hmm. It could be good, but I doubt Hollywood would let it; all that angst wouldn’t play well at the box office. I wouldn’t expect blockbuster status, but it would definitely become a cult classic.

        • #2501173

          What would hollywood

          by tony hopkinson

          In reply to It’s a great world view

          do with the idea that only guilt is effective for good?
          That’s the difference between Eddings and Donaldson, one of them has something worth saying, the sheer brilliance of the way he illustrates it is an added bonus.

          How would you do Revelstone, Lord Mhoram’s victory, Drool Rockworm’s corrupt malice anyway.

          Mordant’s Need would be easier.

          As for the Gap, Angus Thermopyle goes hollywood, it would be awful wouldn’t it.

        • #2501132

          Worse than Barney!

          by nicknielsen

          In reply to What would hollywood

          I love you, you love me!

          Gack! Harcgk! Gag!

    • #2501128

      oh douglas adams

      by battlestartardis

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      the complete Hitchhikers guide to the galaxt series was absolutely brilliant, yet the movie was a horrible adaptation

      • #2500970

        what about…

        by cbalness

        In reply to oh douglas adams

        Nobody mentioned John Varley… Titan, Demon or how about the Barbie Murders…

        or or or Steve Perry’s Matadora Trilogy , or what about Piers Anthony and the Orn stuff or Battle Circle ??

        Also as a tadpole I recall Clifford D. Simack had some great stuff like the Goblin Reservation. Also what was the one by Simack with the end of the world, the talking dogs and the robots ?? something like “City” ??

    • #2488354

      Did someone say, A Canticle for Leibowitz?

      by augustmason

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      The sci-fi novel A Canticle for Leibowitz is absolutely timeless, and this is evident considering the book has NEVER been out of print since it was published almost 50 years ago.

      The story itself has a wholeness which incorporates a major world religion (old Catholicism), trying to pick up the burnt-out pieces (books, artifacts) after present civilization destroys itself with nuclear weapons. There is plenty of Latin, arcane but somehow understandable, the rumblings of truth and hilarious dogma), juxtaposed with human power struggles, both selfish and pure, scientific and heretical, on very individual levels.

      The drama or this novel is so intense, the situations so bizarre and personal, the whole thing could just as easily be written as a Broadway musical, if the right creative artists were inspired to do it.

      Leaving all that Broadway stuff aside, it seems certain this project would become a once-in-a-decade smash as a satirical, futuristic, and dramatic film, done by a great director, writer, magnificent special effects people, and a PARADE of great actors playing a myriad of juicy, in-your-face roles offered throughout the story.

      For example, I see Whoopi Goldberg as Mrs. Grales, the two-headed mutant woman of great faith, one head always asleep, but alive and whispering things, the other head in charge, trying to get the sleepy head baptized. That’s at the end of the novel when the world blows up again, and the sleepy head comes to life and walks around after the living head of Mrs. Grales is killed. The new living head, named Rachel, won’t even let a dying priest baptize her. Perhaps she is immaculate. How dramatic and mind-popping is that?

      It’s my prediction that A Canticle for Leibowitz will someday make an outrageous splash as a film and maybe even a musical. It’s just that rich. I’m surprised there has not been more interest in making it happen.

      If anyone could compose a musical score for it, I’m thinking it’s Rufus Wainwright. His music has the educated cynicism and formal understanding of his native Catholicism, and his boundless immagination can produce wonders of arch musical phrasing. Rufus Wainwright (also an actor/singer as well as composer) would be well-suited to the role of the priggish Thon Taddeo in the middle part of the story, a man just re-discovering electricity and the lightbulb and demading respect for bringing lowly mankind out of the dark.

      • #2488769

        Excellent choice.

        by deepsand

        In reply to Did someone say, A Canticle for Leibowitz?

        I’m surprised that of the rest of us here remembered such; perhaps that’s a result of having read so much, over so many years, that one reaches the point where the trees fade into a forest.

        As for Rufus, are you familiar with his father, Loudon Wainwright III? I think it possible that he might be an even better choice than his son.

    • #2499366

      Maybe I’m too cynical…

      by portable123

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      It seems that now producers have to “add” to a great book, so I don’t see any doing real well. The only standout I remember is the Andromeda Stain. Book to movie the lead changed gender, and curare tiped darts changed to lasers (really dumb change as then the lasers had to make them dizzy). But otherwise it was extremely faithful to the book.

    • #2475141

      best book to film sci-fi

      by chevvy55

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Won’t mind seeing an up to date ‘Day of the triffids’, the last War of the Worlds was a major dissapointment.
      Hunters of the Red Moon by Marian Zimmer Bradley would be a good sci/fi action.

    • #2475132

      stranger in a strange land.

      by iondover

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      heinlen’s great work ignored again! if you haven’t read it, please do. it will change your outlook on life, forever!

      • #2758008

        Ignored, no discounted yes

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to stranger in a strange land.

        Icky sentamentalist pap in my opinion, like most of his later stuff.

        Starship Troopers done properly, or better yet the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, now those I’d pay to watch if there was someone brave enough to do them.

    • #2758038

      Rendevous With Rama

      by gracebt

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I would love to see this as a film. I always thought that it should be one. Another topic
      that would make a good film is the “space elevator” concept. Several authors have written about this.

      Regards,

      73
      -Grace
      NNNN
      z

      • #2758010

        It was a decent book, sequels spoiled it for me

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to Rendevous With Rama

        Not sure Hollywood could take the lack of explanation either. To me space elevator and even visits from aliens are scenery. The interesting bits for me, are things like waht impact a cheap way into space or knowing that we aren’t alone would have on society. That sort of thing is hard to get over on film, which is why Hollywood misses most of what’s good about sci-fi.

    • #2758034

      Logan’s Run by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson

      by purpleskys

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I know, really old film…but it was one of the first sci fi movies I watched as a kid. I would likely consider it to be the movie that started the interest for me in sci-fi. I read books by Stephen King whose movies always intrigue me (note: Stephen almost always plays some sort of minor roll in most of his movies). Then there was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; I think after her book, I was completely hooked on sci-fi.

    • #2757940

      The Stand

      by occallie

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      I think they did a pretty decent job with ‘The Stand’. It follows the book for the most part and may be long, but at least it held my interest throughout the whole thing.

      • #2757843

        It was decent, don’t think I’d seen it

        by tony hopkinson

        In reply to The Stand

        when I did the original post.
        Must confess it’s another I don’t see as sci-fi, because of King’s horror background, it fits the genre though so may be I’m being a snob. :p

    • #2756192

      Books to film…

      by .sherwood

      In reply to What’s the best book to film sci-fi (or SF) transition and..

      Orson Scott Cards “Enders Game” could be a great movie if done right, along with many of the series.

      Ben Bova’s “Grand Tour” series.

      Vernor Vinge’s “A Fire Upon The Deep” was a great book, but I don’t know that it could be translated onto film.

      Brin’s “Earth” would translate well.

      Bear’s “Darwins Radio” and sequel “Darwins Children”.

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